The first Flock day was, not against my expectations, packed with talks.
First, Matthew Miller gave his now traditional State of Fedora keynote. He mostly gave a close look at graphs and numbers that had been collected for 2015. Overall, the number of contributors is growing, reaching over 2000 people. His personal view of Fedora’s near future includes Python conversion, actions in modularity (after years of talking), and development of the Fedora hubs, where at least some of the current irc sessions should be migrated.
After the keynote, I hesitated between attending the Fedora Workstation Next Steps or A Year Managing the Italian Fedora Community. The latter won, and I was surprised to hear how many obstacles those folks have and how much sincere effort comes from the volunteers (let’s face it).
At 11:00, I had the chance to hear Petr Viktorin give the essential steps when you want to add your awesome new thing into Fedora (thing = nodejs, rubygem, maven repo, new format for installer image, new container format…). You need to talk to release engineering EARLY! Work in the open, engage others for feedback, and do not rely on others to do work for you. The main reason for him submitting the talk was that even if you have a great and successful project, it still needs to be integrated in the process of how we compose Fedora as a whole. Not talking to releng early makes integrating your fantastic project into Fedora much more difficult.
After lunch, I watched Mirek Suchy give update about Copr. The talk was very technical, so I won’t go into details, but you can read the irc transcription (links below).
Next session of my interest was about the Fedora magazine by Paul Frields. Being their new contributor, it was good to learn that they are not trying to preach, but rather give the users what they are looking for. It is even okay to talk about software which is often used illegally, but has a specific legal use in Fedora, such as BitTorrent.
One before last on my schedule was Thoughts on Fedora and Arts. What we all learned there was that Fedora is perfect as it is, which is a nice statement, but not one usually leading to growth and improvement.
At 17:30, a group of us came to attend the talk titled “University outreach – New task or new mindset?” It seemed that both new mindsets and tasks are heavily needed. And it was at the last talk of the first day where I finally got the vibe which keeps Fedora enthusiasts coming back and which fuels their passion.
The talk gradually turned into a lively discussion about how the Outreach program should look like. People shared their experiences about working with schools and universities, said what worked and didn’t, and suddenly – solutions started to emerge! Something that I sincerely understand happened – anybody could come up with an idea and be heard and be creative and accepted for that.
I see tremendous value in this aspect of the Open Source world, which doesn’t come with proprietary software; you don’t just take, you also give back to the community. The joy of creating new things that are helpful for others is priceless.
It’s possible that the creative happiness we get from this environment brings us back to our childhood, when everything was possible, monkeys could have violet fur, horses could talk, and wolves knew how to sew clothes.
After the talks, the organizers arranged buses to Krakow center and guided tours of the city. Our guide was really funny and we even saw a dragon.
I will not write about the rest of the evening, but you can imagine. A free night in Krakow. 😉
Note: some of the sessions are being streamed on irc, network Freenode. You can find all the information here.